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Family Ties
""Family Ties title.svg
Genre "Sitcom
Created by "Gary David Goldberg
Starring "Meredith Baxter-Birney
"Michael Gross
"Michael J. Fox
"Justine Bateman
"Tina Yothers
"Brian Bonsall
Theme music composer "Jeff Barry
"Tom Scott
Opening theme "Without Us" performed by
"Dennis Tufano and "Mindy Sterling (season 1)[1]
"Johnny Mathis & "Deniece Williams (seasons 2-7)
Country of origin "United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 155 ("list of episodes)
Production
Camera setup "Multi-camera
Running time 24 minutes
Production company(s) "Ubu Productions
"Paramount Television
Distributor Paramount Domestic Television (1987–2006)
"CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006–2007)
"CBS Television Distribution (2007–present)
Release
Original network "NBC[2]
Audio format "Stereo
Original release September 22, 1982 (1982-09-22) – May 14, 1989 (1989-05-14)
Chronology
Related shows "The Art of Being Nick (TV pilot)
"Day by Day

Family Ties is an "American "sitcom that aired on "NBC for seven seasons, premiering on September 22, 1982, and concluding on May 14, 1989. The series, created by "Gary David Goldberg, reflected the move in the United States from the cultural liberalism of the 1960s and 1970s to the "conservatism of the 1980s.[3] This was particularly expressed through the relationship between young Republican "Alex P. Keaton (portrayed by "Michael J. Fox) and his ex-hippie parents, Steven and Elyse Keaton (portrayed by "Michael Gross and "Meredith Baxter).

The show won multiple awards, including three consecutive "Emmy Awards for Michael J. Fox as "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Contents

Plot[edit]

Set in suburban "Columbus, Ohio, during the "Reagan administration, Steven and Elyse Keaton ("Michael Gross and "Meredith Baxter) are "baby boomers, "liberals and former "hippies,[3] raising their three children: ambitious, would-be millionaire "entrepreneur Alex ("Michael J. Fox); fashion-conscious, gossipy Mallory ("Justine Bateman); and tomboy Jennifer ("Tina Yothers). Married in 1964, Elyse is an independent architect and Steven, a native of Buffalo, New York, is the station manager of WKS, a local "public television station.

Much of the humor of the series focuses on the cultural divide during the 1980s when younger generations rejected the "counterculture of the 1960s and embraced the materialism and conservative politics which came to define the 1980s.[4] Both Alex, and, to a lesser extent, Mallory, embrace "Reaganomics and exhibit conservative attitudes: Alex is a "Young Republican", and Mallory, while not overtly political, is a more materialistic young woman in contrast to her "feminist mother.[3] Mallory was also presented as a vacuous airhead, who was fodder for jokes and teasing from her brother. Jennifer, an athletic tomboy and the youngest child, shares more the values of her parents and just wants to be a normal kid. Steven and Elyse had a fourth child, Andrew (or "Andy", for short), who was born in early 1985. Andy is the youngest, on whom Alex doted and quickly molded in his conservative image.

Cast[edit]

""
""
Cast of Family Ties (from left): "Tina Yothers, "Brian Bonsall (added in season five), "Michael Gross, "Meredith Baxter-Birney, "Michael J. Fox, and "Justine Bateman.

Main cast[edit]

Main stars Meredith Baxter and Michael Gross are exactly the same age, sharing the same birthday on June 21, 1947. In the series, their characters were intended to be approximately five or six years older, given that their "son", played by Michael J. Fox, was in fact only fourteen years younger than Baxter and Gross in real life.[5]

Recurring cast[edit]

The show had been sold to the network using the pitch "hip parents, square kids."[6] Originally, Elyse and Steven were intended to be the main characters. However, the audience reacted so positively to Alex during the taping of the fourth episode that he became the focus on the show.[3][6] Fox had received the role after "Matthew Broderick turned it down.[7]

Supporting cast and characters includes neighbor Alex's best friend Irwin "Skippy" Handelman ("Marc Price); Mallory's "Sylvester Stallone-esque boyfriend artist Nick Moore ("Scott Valentine); and Alex's feminist artist girlfriend Ellen Reed ("Tracy Pollan, whom Michael J. Fox later married in 1988). In season 3, episode 17, Elyse gave birth to her fourth child, Andrew (who was played by "Brian Bonsall from season 5 onward). Garrett Merriman played baby Andrew.

Production[edit]

Theme song[edit]

The theme song,"Without Us" (credited in Season One as "Us"), was composed by "Jeff Barry and "Tom Scott in 1982. During the first season, it was originally performed by "Dennis Tufano and "Mindy Sterling.[8][9] For the rest of the show's run, the song was performed by "Deniece Williams and "Johnny Mathis.

Connection to Day by Day[edit]

During its final two seasons, Family Ties was scheduled on Sunday nights often followed by "Day by Day, another series from Ubu Productions. "Michael Gross and "Brian Bonsall brought their respective roles of Steven and Andy Keaton to the Day by Day episode "Trading Places", which reveals that Steven went to college with Brian Harper ("Doug Sheehan).

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired "Nielsen ratings[10]
First aired Last aired Rank Rating
"1 21 September 22, 1982 (1982-09-22) April 4, 1983 (1983-04-04) 56[11] N/A
"2 22 September 23, 1983 (1983-09-23) May 10, 1984 (1984-05-10) 42 16.0 [12]
"3 22 September 20, 1984 (1984-09-20) March 7, 1985 (1985-03-07) 5 22.1
"Film September 23, 1985 (1985-09-23) N/A N/A
"4 22 September 26, 1985 (1985-09-26) May 1, 1986 (1986-05-01) 2 30.0
"5 24 September 25, 1986 (1986-09-25) April 30, 1987 (1987-04-30) 2 32.7
"6 24 September 13, 1987 (1987-09-13) March 13, 1988 (1988-03-13) 17 17.3
"7 20 October 30, 1988 (1988-10-30) April 9, 1989 (1989-04-09) 35 14.5 [13]


Awards[edit]

Emmy Awards[edit]

Golden Globes[edit]

TV Land Awards[edit]

Young Artist Awards[edit]

Syndication[edit]

NBC aired reruns of Family Ties weekday mornings from December 1985 until January 1987. In the fall of 1987, the series went into "syndication in the United States. Currently, it airs on "UP and "Antenna TV. Reruns previously aired on "WFMZ, MeToo, "Disney Channel, "FamilyNet, "WGN America, "TBS, "YTV, "Nick at Nite, "TV Land, "Hallmark Channel and "The Hub.

In Canada, reruns of Family Ties began airing on "CTS, a Christian-based network, on September 6, 2010. On May 15, 2011 "Netflix began to stream season 1-7 on its "watch instantly" streaming service.[14]

In Australia, reruns aired on "Eleven (a digital channel of "Network Ten) in the afternoons and late night until June 2013. As of November 2015, two episodes are shown on weekdays between 11 am and midday. Family Ties was a perennial favourite seen on the "Nine Network from 1983 to 2008. Prior to Eleven, the show screened on pay TV network "TV1.

In the UK, Family Ties aired on "Channel 4 from July 1985.

Home media[edit]

DVD[edit]

"CBS DVD (distributed by "Paramount) has released all seven seasons of Family Ties on DVD in Region 1, as of August 13, 2013. The second through fifth season releases contain special features, gag reels and episodic promos. The second season contains interviews with Michael Gross and Michael J. Fox along with other cast members. The fourth season contains the made-for-TV-movie, "Family Ties Vacation. Paramount has also released the first three seasons on DVD in Region 4.

On November 5, 2013, "CBS Home Entertainment released Family Ties - The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.

On November 11, 2014, "CBS Home Entertainment re-released a repackaged version of the complete series set, at a lower price, but did not include the bonus disc that was part of the original complete series set.[15]

DVD name No. of
episodes
Release dates
Region 1 Region 4
The Complete First Season 22 February 20, 2007 April 9, 2008
The Second Season 22 October 9, 2007 September 4, 2008
The Third Season 24 February 12, 2008 April 2, 2009
The Fourth Season 24 August 5, 2008
The Fifth Season 30 March 10, 2009
The Sixth Season 28 April 9, 2013
The Seventh Season 26 August 13, 2013
The Complete Series 176 November 5, 2013/November 11, 2014 TBA

Streaming[edit]

All seven seasons of the series were made available for streaming through "Netflix (removed again August 15, 2015[16]) and "Amazon Video as well as Hulu Plus.[17]

References in other media[edit]

Over a decade after the cancellation of Family Ties, Michael J. Fox's final episodes on "Spin City featured numerous allusions to the show. In these episodes, Michael Gross played a therapist for Fox's character "Michael Patrick Flaherty[18] and the episode contained a reference to an off-screen character named "Mallory".[19] In the episode, after Flaherty becomes an environmental lobbyist in Washington D.C., he meets a "conservative junior senator named Alex P. Keaton."[20] Meredith Baxter also portrayed Mike Flaherty's mother, Macy Flaherty, in the episodes "Family Affair" (Parts 1 and 2).

The cast of Family Ties publicly reunited for the first time on February 7, 2008 for an interview on "The Today Show.[21]

Family Ties was referenced on "Naughty By Nature's 1995 song ""Craziest". The second line of the first verse said "You ain't a pal of me, my family ties but not wit Mallory."["citation needed]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Biography for Dennis Tufano on "IMDb
  2. ^ Clements, Erin (October 7, 2015). "Family Ties cast reflects on show 3 decades later: 'We all loved each other'". USA Today. 
  3. ^ a b c d Saenz, Michael. "Encyclopedia of Television: Family Ties". Museum of Broadcast Communications. 
  4. ^ Kiehl, Stephen (June 7, 2004). "What he left behind: From Tom Clancy to Alex P. Keaton, Ronald Reagan's legacy extends beyond the political and into the cultural". The Baltimore Sun. 
  5. ^ Baxter, Meredith (2011). Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering. Random House LLC. 
  6. ^ a b Haglund, David (March 2, 2007). "Reagan's Favorite Sitcom: How Family Ties spawned a conservative hero". Slate. 
  7. ^ The Biography Channel - Matthew Broderick Biography Archived 2010-02-20 at the "Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Amazon Video: Family Ties Retrieved February 18, 2013
  9. ^ Netflix: Family Ties Retrieved February 18, 2013
  10. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (2007). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present (Ninth Edition). Ballantine Books. p. 1690-1691. "ISBN "978-0-345-49773-4. 
  11. ^ |1982-83 Ratings History|http://www.tvratingsguide.com/2017/07/1982-83-top-30-soap-bubbles-rise.html
  12. ^ |1983-84 Ratings History|http://www.tvratingsguide.com/2017/09/1983-84-ratings-history-networks-are.html
  13. ^ |1988-89 Ratings History|http://www.tvratingsguide.com/2017/07/1988-89-ratings-history-wga-writers.html
  14. ^ Netflix: Family Ties (1982–1988) Seasons 1–7
  15. ^ Lambert, David (August 22, 2014). "Family Ties - 'The Complete Series' Gets Re-Released in a New 'Unlimited' Box". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  16. ^ Knolle, Sharon (July 27, 2015). "What's Leaving Netflix in August 2015". Moviefone. 
  17. ^ Amazon Video: Family Ties Retrieved January 23, 2013
  18. ^ Wallace, Amy (March 20, 2000). "Putting His Own Spin on 'City's' season finale". Los Angeles Times. 
  19. ^ Shales, Tom (May 24, 2000). "Michael J. Fox, Playing 'Spin City' to a Fare-Thee-Well." "Washington Post. p. C1.
  20. ^ Michael J. Fox Database Archived 2004-11-19 at the "Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ "Family Ties: Reunited After Almost 20 Years!". TVSeriesFinale.com. Archived from the original on 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 

External links[edit]

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